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Anytime you’re looking for a fabricator to produce your new design, you should ensure they have a robust quality control program. Where can quality defects arise and how can manufacturers quickly get this information back to a design team? Sometimes emails can leave too much ambiguity and it is difficult to track progress on specific design changes in the PCB layout. If you’re planning to put a new design into high volume production, there are some basic points that should be checked during fabrication and assembly as part of a PCB manufacturing quality control program.
Controlling crosstalk is one of the key goals in any PCB design. In most instances, when we talk about crosstalk, it’s in reference to the unwanted interaction of the electromagnetic field traveling on one transmission line with a neighboring transmission line. But crosstalk can also occur in the connector pin out. This article will describe this type of crosstalk, the types of disruptions it causes, wherein the design cycle it needs to be factored in and how it can be successfully controlled.
The design process often requires repetitive work with tedious tasks. Altium Designer 21 represents a better way to design by revitalizing long-standing functionality and improving the user experience, as well as performance and stability, based on the feedback from our users. These improvements streamline existing design tasks and empower you to complete sophisticated rigid and rigid-flex designs with realistic 3D modeling.
When you’re working through a new PCB design project, and you need to keep track of your project revisions, Altium 365™ creates the ideal environment for collaborative PCB design and revision tracking. Once you upload your projects onto the cloud through the Altium 365 platform, Altium 365 creates a Git repository for your project. It allows you to make it available to collaborators through Altium Designer®. This includes a complete project history, which can be easily accessed by collaborators working on a complex project.
The moment you push your Gerbers to a manufacturer for a DFM inspection, it can be a nerve-wracking experience waiting for a response. Before you receive your working boards, there will likely be some back-and-forth communication before your board hits the fabrication line. When manufacturers and designers need to resolve problems in Gerber files before fabrication, it helps to have a Gerber compare utility. The newest version of Altium Designer now offers this feature through the Altium 365 platform, giving everyone visibility into changes to Gerbers before fabrication.
No matter how you might feel about renewable energy and associated environmental issues, electric vehicles are becoming more mainstream and will become the primary mode of transportation in the future. For the engineering community, what’s much more interesting is how our power distribution and management infrastructure can support this shift to massive increases in the use of electricity on the grid. So what’s the rub for PCB designers?
When you’re working through a complex PCB layout, it always helps to know the shortcuts you can use to stay productive. Altium Designer® keyboard shortcuts, and keyboard + mouse shortcuts, can help you easily walk through your PCB layout during design and as part of final checks during a design review. Here are some of my favorite keyboard shortcuts and viewing options that help me stay productive, and I hope they can do the same for you.
Printed Electronics is emerging to become as common as 3D printing. With this fast-emerging technology, new possibilities have come into the manufacturing arena, allowing engineers and designers to develop products in markets never before realized. With the emergence of many contract manufacturers possessing this capability, the cost is competitive. Quick-turn prototypes and volume production are now all possibilities, and with Altium 365® you stay connected directly with your manufacturer throughout the design process.
High speed PCB interconnects have continued to remain an active challenge in modeling and simulation, particularly when dealing with broadband signals. The IEEE P370 standard is a step towards addressing the challenges faced by many designers in determining broadband S-parameters for high speed structures up to 50 GHz. Although this standard has been in the works since 2015, it finally passed board approval and appears as an active draft standard.
Amplifiers can come in all shapes and sizes, depending on their bandwidth, power consumption, and many other factors. A Class-D amplifier design is normally used with high fidelity audio systems, and circuits for a Class-D amplifier are not too difficult to build in a schematic. If you’ve never worked with a Class-D amplifier or you’re looking for a fun audio project, follow along with this PCB layout.